Owning a car is a big responsibility. You need to check it regularly with a mechanic, taking it to the annual service, have expenses for registering it, getting the needed documents so you can drive it with no legal limitations, but also fixing some tiny problems by yourself.
Many drivers know how to perform some basic fixtures, like replacing the oil, not mixing oil in coolant, keeping it clean from the inside, washing and waxing the surface, pumping the wheels, or even replacing the broken one while on the road, cleaning the AC system, putting Freon (a chemical substance which is used to keep the cooling device working properly) in the cooling system, replacing the seat’s covers, and so on.
Some people are not aware that when they are buying a car, they also need to learn how to fix these little issues. They don’t need to be professional, but it’s always good to maintain your vehicle condition, so it can pass the safety test and you get your license plates. If you are not ready for these actions, you may consider buying a new car later or use a taxi or public transport instead.
Knowing how to fix your vehicle will save you a lot of money in the long term. Mechanic technicians often charge you a lot, knowing that you are not interested in learning that by yourself, so they can set high prices that seem reasonable. But, it’s always better to know some of these maintaining actions:
1. Washing your car
You don’t need to bring it to a washing service when you can do it by yourself, completely alone or with a little help from your friends or family member. You only need a mild cleaning solution and a lot of water. Use a sponge to remove the dirt and greasy spots on the surface. You can also use your home vacuum cleaner to clean the interior. Pay a lot of attention to the vehicle’s floor, where you and the passengers put your feet, with all the dirt that is staying on your soil.
Also, you can learn how to wax it, once or twice a year. People who offer this service are charging too high prices, and it’s one of the easiest tasks you can learn how to do.
2. Check the oil levels
Oils are important so your car is working smoothly. When the level of the oil in the canisters is low, your vehicle will still do its job. You can click here to learn more about this basic step in car maintenance.
We recommend you pay a lot of attention to the moment of not mixing oils and coolant because that can cause serious engine damages. Oil levels need to be checked manually with the stick every car has, so you can determine if it’s enough or you need to pour a little more in the canister.
3. Replace the tire
Sometimes, little accidents can happen while on an open road. Tire damages are one of the most common issues every driver has at least once in their life. The first thing you need to check is if you own a reserve tire in your luggage, so you can replace it.
If this happens, you need to slow down and park the vehicle in a safe location, where there is no risk of getting hit by another car or stopping the normal traffic flow on the road. Then, you need to raise the vehicle, remove the damaged tire using a proper tool, replace it with the new one, put the nails, and ensure it is installed properly.
If you’re doing this for the first time in your driving history, you may not make it 100% perfect, but sure it will work until you’re able to take the vehicle to the next gas station and ask for assistance. You can also practice this very important skill because you can never know when it will happen.
4. Check the tire pressure
If something is suspicious about the tires, and you are sure they’re not damaged, you need to take the vehicle to the nearest gas station and check the pressure in every one of them.
But first, learn which PSI is appropriate for your model because if the pressure is too high, the tire can burst into pieces while driving, putting your life at great risk. If it’s too low, it can cause wheel damage, or even fire because of the reaction between the wheel and the road.
Newer car models will alert you if the pressure is too low, so you can drive to the gas station and fix the problem. But, with the older models, you can have regular checks every few weeks. Many gas stations offer this service for free, because it’s simple, and every responsible driver need to know it.
5. Know how to put or replace the windshield wipers
Wipers are very important, because they are helping improve the visibility when it’s rainy outside, and you need to drive while it’s happening. Every driver should know how to put the wipers on the sticks, and also, how to remove them. Some people will ask why they need to remove the wipers, but in some countries cases of stealing them while the car is left on the parking spot, happens pretty often. Always use the size recommended by the manufacturer, so they can wipe the whole affected area, and you will be able to see what is happening outside nice and clearly.
As you can see, these five routines and skills are really simple, so you won’t have a problem learning how to perform them on your vehicle. We all know that most of the drivers think it’s better to take the car to the service, so they can fix every little problem you may have, but it would be pretty sad if you have a car, and you don’t know at least three basic maintenance activities, that will keep the engine healthy and save you money at the same time.